I give Marvel the week's icon, only because they kick off a major Dark Avengers/X-Men crossover. But really, it's a big week for comics, period, as both DC and Marvel unleash huge titles. Detective Comics and Gotham City Sirens are both covered in the Batman Special Edition thread.
DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1: The premise for this story is that it's an anti-mutant march turned violent in San Francisco, which requires the services of the Dark Avengers to quell. First thought here is that an anti-mutant march gone horribly wrong could actually hold water as a standalone X-Men story, but the Dark Reign madness must be hammered home as hard as possible. Issue consists of the Dark Avengers imposing martial law on San Francisco and running roughshod over the X-Men. Issue ends with the seeds planted for Osborn's new Dark X-Men team...which will apparently include Xavier. Zuh? Ok, now I'm interested. Thumbs up!
DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #2: Those who waited anxiously for ANY sort of continuation of Brian K. Vaughan's classic origin story can finally rest easy. White Fang finally comes for her revenge and only the invoking of the dread Dormammu saves Parker Robbins. Things start to slow down slightly with a Cabal meeting, but issue ends with the Hood's makeshift HQ burning down. The most intriguing part of this series so far is the continuing interaction between perfectly-normal Parker Robbins interacting with his fiancee, child, and his medicated mother. You're dreading it, but you KNOW something really bad is going to happen to them before the series ends, but like a carwreck, you can't turn away. Issue ends with The Hood trying to cope with his inner Dormammu by visiting Satana. He's no BKV, but Jeff Parker is crafting a compelling Hood story that fans of BKV's origin story shouldn't miss. Thumbs up!
NEW AVENGERS #54: I came into this story not knowing much about Brother Voodoo, but the issue does a good job in giving a quick overview on who he is. The issue is mostly a big mystical battle, as Son of Satan continues to steal the show. The battle ends with Dormammu beaten and The Hood powerless and taken into custody along with Madame Masque, while Clint Barton tries to get his YouTube on by trying to publicly connect them all with Norman Osborn to a nearby camera. Osborn calmly dusts off this potential PR disaster by pointing out Barton's own sordid past, along with the precedent set by allowing Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to be Avengers. Barton just can't catch a break. The issue was good, but Bendis just wrote a whole lot of guys into a corner, as The Hood's currently appearing in about four other titles and having him get ultimately taken down now puts those poor writers in a bind. I'm sure they're all sending Bendis flowers right about now. This issue served to really get me excited about the upcoming Doctor Voodoo series. Thumbs up!
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #598: It's been a while since I jumped aboard the BND train, but I can't resist Osborn popping up in a Spidey book. We're fresh off Menace being revealed as not only Harry's love interest, Lily Hollister, but also revealed as pregnant. Yikes! Spider-Man is being held by Norman Osborn, who's trying like hell to unmask him, but the mask is apparently unmasking-proof. It's a Reed Richards-creation, you see, and the mask's unstable molecules prevent unmasking. But a leftover Stark repulsor ray would fix that and also lead to the unquestionable Line of the Week, as Osborn wonders if Stark kept it around just to try and get the Invisible Woman naked. Meanwhile, Harry has a Goblin cure for Lily, but she's not interested. Furthermore, the baby isn't his, it's Norman's. You know, between Gwen Stacy and now Lily, Norman sure gets around. Harry responds to this by taking up the American Son armor Norman made for him and attacking his father. Good issue, but at the rate he's going, Norman's going to have some major child support bills by 2020. Thumbs up!
GREEN LANTERN #42: DC gets in on the fun too, by concluding the Orange Lantern story arc. Hal finally manages to activate the Blue Ring by being a smartass. Then he gets the idea to try and grab the Orange Battery from Larfleeze, but that idea goes horribly wrong. The match is a stalemate, so the Guardians decide to go for the diplomacy route. The Green Lanterns go home, wondering what deal the Guardians made. We find out at issue's end, as Larfleeze and the Orange constructs attack the Blue Lantern homeworld, as the Guardians essentially sold them out. Completely unexpected and a total dick move by the Guardians. I love it! The Blackest Night descends next month. Are you ready for the dead to rise? Thumbs up!
WONDER WOMAN #33: This story ends with a good twist. The Amazons and Olympians team up to take down Ares and his army of monsters, but it's the aftermath that's interesting. Zeus reveals that the Amazons have been stripped of their immortality and that he brought Achilles down to not only replace Diana as champion, but for Diana to settle down and birth a bunch of children. Ever the feminist, Diana has none of this and renounces the gods, resulting in banishment from Paradise Island. This is all very interesting in the sense that the DC Trinity has essentially been completely displaced (Superman on New Krypton, Batman dead/stuck in the stone age, Wonder Woman replaced by a new champion). Who knows where things go from here? Thumbs up!
That's it for now, but comics only get better in July with the launch of the limited Justice League series, the start of the Blackest Night, and the continuing Dark Avengers/X-Men crossover.
"So listen up boy, or pornography starring your mother will be the second worst thing that happens to you today."
One of America's premiere literary minds dead at 71. link: http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/12/28/obit.sontag.ap/index.html Susan, we barely knew ye. R.I.P. [Edit]: I recently read her last book, Regarding the Pain of Others.